Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Devotional, Evangelism, Faith

What will be your legacy?

In the 1980s, I attended some of Billy Graham’s meetings as part of Mission England.

At the time, I was struck by how much preparation, and particularly prayer, went into the planning and execution of these events. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association had a structure which was modelled around prayer and the Word of God. This was a structure that Billy had used with his own family. His son Franklin recalls that as a child, their days started and ended with family devotions, and Franklin credits the longevity of his parents’ marriage to the fact they read the Scriptures together every day.

As news broke recently that Billy had gone home to be with the Lord, news sites across the world told the story. For younger audiences who did not know who Billy was, his story was re-told. Even here in the UK, our major news and radio channels covered his passing, and for me, it was remarkable to see the amazing legacy that Billy Graham had left behind.

Billy was very much the ‘front man’ of his ministry, but it was not something he sought or chased after. His message was always faithful to the Gospel, and he used every opportunity to tell people about Jesus.

He started his ministry on radio, and by the end of his life, by preaching in auditoriums, stadiums and travelling globally, millions had been won to Christ, not just through his direct ministry but through the ministry of those who had come to faith because of attending a Billy Graham event. George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilisation, was one of them. He accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour at a Billy Graham crusade, and years later, his ministry has impacted the lives of many, many more around the world.

In many ways, this was a revival that we never really called a revival. We tend to see revival as being an experience of the manifest presence of God, which compels people en masse to turn their hearts to Jesus. This is what happened throughout Billy’s ministry.

During Mission England, I saw it with my own eyes as thousands streamed to the front to accept Jesus into their lives, filling the front and the aisles. How we long to see this again!

Last week, as we heard the news of Billy’s passing, I thought of Mark 4:8-9, where Jesus tells the parable of the sower: ‘Still another seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.’ If anyone’s life produced a ‘hundredfold’ crop, it was Billy’s!

There is much we can draw from the example of one man’s life. We might never reach millions with the good news of Jesus, but each of us has a circle of influence. We might never be a Billy Graham in terms of numbers, but we can each reach people we know. We all have a story to tell, and even the way we speak and live our lives can be a powerful testimony to a world looking for answers.

And we can pray! We can pray for the people we might never meet or reach, and a life soaked in prayer can reap so much.

Can I encourage you today? You might never speak in an auditorium of thousands or have a public ministry, but you can make a difference to one person by sharing with them the love of Jesus.

Let our legacy one day say that we were men and women of God who shared the Gospel with all who ‘had ears to hear’.

IMG_1287

Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Devotional, Evangelism, Faith, Healing, Hope, Miracles

Look to the future – what do you see?

Over the last few weeks, I have been spending some time with God, seeking the way forward for UCB as a ministry. I have been rejoicing about the past and those who have gone before us, but also rejoicing about the many lives which have been changed and transformed by the power of God’s Word.

I recently met with a group of UCB supporters and shared what I see for the future. I want to share the same message with you and give you a glimpse of what I am seeing today. It is a glimpse that came from the challenge Jesus gave to his disciples when He said to them: ‘Lift up your eyes, and look at the fields and see how white and ready they are for the harvest’ (John 4:35).

Instead of looking at the gloom and despondency and brokenness that is in our world today, God wants us to see what He sees.

Here is what I see.

I see God turning the hearts of a godless society back to Himself.

I see a church living and operating in the power of the Gospel.

I see our government, our laws, our society being reshaped by the truth of God’s Word.

I see family units coming together into the knowledge and the transformation of God’s power, from the toughest parts of the cities to the most rural parts of our country.

I see every generation, should it be young or old, knowing their worth and experiencing value and a purpose for their lives.

I see people standing for what it is true and becoming intolerant for all the right reasons – intolerant of wrongdoing, intolerant of injustice.

I see people getting ready to answer God’s call like they have never done before. I see people standing together totally united for their cities and not afraid to say ‘We are the Church’.

I see the Church mobilised to take the Gospel to the towns, villages and the cities, making disciples and being totally committed to what God has called them to do.

I see changing statistics: relationships being restored, addictions broken. I see miracles to be the order of the day in the life of our society because the Church is acting like true light and salt like never before.

I see an army of young people having visions, and I see older people, instead of being put ‘on the shelf,’ having dreams like they have never had before, supporting and standing with the younger generation.

I truly believe and see a day coming when God will pour His Spirit upon all flesh. I see the young and the old, the children and the grandparents lifting the banner of victory, looking at their society and truly believing that God has a message of hope, and using every means possible to lift up that message of truth.

You might say ‘Dave, you’re living in cuckoo land, you’re dreaming!’

But I am seeing only what Jesus spoke of to his disciples, and I am saying that it is time that we lift up your eyes from the negative, from the oppressive, from the depressive, and recognise that the fields are white for harvest.

And therefore it is time. I believe that we as a ministry, and you as partners and supporters, must actually start to switch on and see what God wants us to see.

And let’s believe that the enemy will not have the upper hand.  He may think that he has the best strategy – to steal, to kill, to destroy – but the verse does not stop there because Jesus says even to us today through His Word that He came that we might have life – and not just life, but life to the full (John 10:10).

I strongly believe we are moving into an unprecedented hour and that we as a ministry need to be ready like never before. We need to be ready for people to be resourced and helped in their faith. And we need to be ready to resource the church, for I believe they will not be able to cope with the amount of people who will be coming in.   They need to have reliable content.

There is a saying in media that ‘content is king’. This means that all our strategies are of no use if our content – if what we write or share on air – is not good. I believe today, though, that God is turning that around and saying: ‘The KING is the content.’

David-Blog21

Christian Media, Christian Radio, Christianity, Evangelism, Hope, Miracles

God is still working around the world

I was in Florida a few weeks ago to attend the Hope Celebration with our long-time friends and ministry partners OneHope. OneHope is a wonderful organisation which is reaching millions of children and youth around the world with the Good News of Jesus. They produce a lot of resources, including Book of Hope and the Bible App for Kids, which has been downloaded over 10 million times.

The Hope Celebration was a time for leaders to gather, pray, fellowship and hear what God is doing through the ministry. One of the speakers was Pastor Andrew, who works in the Sahel region of Northern Africa. The team there is working in a very difficult context where the practice of Voodoo is very common and the terrorist group Boko Haram also has a lot of power. Boko Haram is the group which kidnapped over 270 young girls in 2014 and is regularly involved in horrific violence across the region. Despite these many challenges, God is working powerfully, and the Good News is still being shared in many creative ways.

Pastor Andrew shared a story about a day he came face to face with some terrorists deep in a forest while he was travelling. Ahead of him, he could see a group of heavily armed men advancing toward his car, and so he started to pray. Eventually the group surrounded him and demanded that he drive them to the nearest town. As some of the men got in the car with him, Pastor Andrew said he felt the presence of God come and (very boldly) he decided to give each man a Book of Hope. There was silence, but Pastor Andrew could see that each man was reading the book. After about 10 minutes, he asked the men if they understood what they were reading, and they said they did. He then asked if they would like to give their lives to Jesus! The men agreed and they stopped the car right then and each prayed to receive Jesus as their Saviour.

When the group arrived at the nearest town, Pastor Andrew was able to show them a nearby church – and today (over a year later), those men are baptised and part of a church.

Stories like these fill me with such hope as I hear how God is moving around the world in extraordinary ways.

As I wrote recently, it can be easy to look at the world’s headlines and think that God is silent. But I am reminded of the words of Jesus in John 16 where He says:

‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’

Praise God that no matter what our newspapers say, we still believe and know that through His death, Jesus has indeed overcome the world.

Please do pray for the vital work of OneHope in reaching children around the world.

DLH BLOG - APR 16